Brendan Nelson leaves politics

As the recipient of two Federation Fellowships, I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for their originator, Brendan Nelson. So, I thought I’d do a quick post marking his departure from political life. It was his misfortune to be thrust into the job of Opposition Leader, thanks to Peter Costello’s refusal and the unwillingness of his colleagues to accept Malcolm Turnbull. This was just too tough a job for Nelson. Maybe if he’d had a few more years as a minister or frontbencher he would have been ready for this challenge, but as it was, he wasn’t ready and it showed. He’s done the right thing by leaving.

109 thoughts on “Brendan Nelson leaves politics

  1. John, the seat of Bradfield is going to be one interesting political football for the Libs now that Brendan Nelson is leaving politics and anyone contemplating entering politics could do no harm by being liberal and wearing a stud, loving black leather and riding a bike.

  2. @Michael of Summer Hill
    Heh, I disagree with Terje quite a bit. I agree with him on some things.

    Barry seems to have vindicated himself in his public life. I simply like to point out how many people nowadays are undertaking tertiary studies without any plan or chance of getting employed. The fact of the matter is, a BA is a perfect example of something that is a complete waste of time without conviction and a plan for employment/career direction post tertiary study.

  3. No Rationalist, you are 100% wrong as there are many opportunities in life for those holding a BA degree and some even continue to improve themselves by seeking a Masters or PhD.

  4. @Michael of Summer Hill
    There are plenty of opportunities for those who have conviction and a plan (and have talent) but for those who do a BA for the sake of getting a degree without direction or conviction, get ready to flip burgers :).

    BA tends to attract many people without “direction” which makes it a low hanging fruit w.r.t criticism.

  5. Rationalist, if it think it should read you’re a fruitcake so be it. But condemning someone for having a BA degree and then denigrating that person is wrong for many take for example a combined law program which allows students to study the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in conjunction with another degree such as Arts, Media and Communications, Commerce, Economics, Economic and Social Sciences, Engineering, International Studies or Science degree.

  6. @Rationalist
    Moshie – I suspect Rationalist was trying to suggest before I was an arts graduate (see his above thoughts on arts Moshie and he could clearly do with some polish from the arts field and no, Rationalist, those who study arts I commend – I wish I had in fact but I have read a lot instead).

    Rationalist – studying arts isnt simply about the quality of the burger flipping job you get in life and nor is the dollar reward the only reason to enlighten yourself…you forgot about the simple joy of learning

    and Rationalist, for such an apparently practical soul…

    I dont suppose you ever stopped to wonder of the man flipping burgers reads the ancient philosophers, or studies Spanish, or practices the art of chess at night..

    Such a judgement of a persons intrinsic value measured only by their salary (and equating a burger flipper or an arts graduate as low lying fruit), Rationalist, limits you and no one else. You might also be surprised by the number of arts graduates in Law and senior management positions Rationalist. Quite common.

  7. @Michael of Summer Hill
    All I am saying is that it is a low hanging fruit because so many people who undertake a BA are not wise to do so. Plenty are and do fantastically, many do not and somewhat tarnish the title.

    @Alice
    You need to put in a lot of effort to succeed and it is clear to see BA or BA/B Laws candidates who do well. This is because they are candidates who have conviction and a strategy for a career. This is precisely what I have said all along.

  8. No Rationalist, unless you beg for forgiveness Alice is going to give you a mouth full for being an ignoramus.

  9. @Michael of Summer Hill
    OK, Alice, I have no other choice. I am sorry! My centrist views are simply too offensive for the vast intertubes. I am such a conservative philistine, a degenerate member of the electorate who gave Howard four terms in office. I should offer myself for slaughter to the great gods of University art student bummery.

    See my tongue resting solidly in my cheek?

  10. Rationalist, I don’t think Barry O’Farrell would take kindly to what you just said.

  11. No Rationalist, I might not agree with O’Farrell’s grubby politics but calling him for something he isn’t is an insult. And as a Liberal supporter you should be ashamed of yourself.

  12. @Rationalist
    Rationalist – even though we correctly called you to account on your take on arts students or graduates and you moderated (is that what you call your centrist views? God help us all!!!) you quickly reverted to type in response no 12….

    oh how the mighty fall

    Dont mond Bazza – he sure is taking a hiding from the fruits of the party though (I dont think they get it those hard right wingnuts – the electorate really doesnt like them and they actually like Bazza better…doh…when does the party wake up that they need to moderate their hard right extremist views ???? Which have stuffed everyone up I might add).

    Rationalist – Im reporting you to Bazza. He will order you to do 400 hours on the treadmill until he can talk some sense of arts into you..

  13. @Michael of Summer Hill
    Who says I am a Liberal supporter. I have not yet cast a vote in an election for anyone. I only just became of voting age so I have never voted for Howard or Rudd (because I was too young at the time). I make my judgement on policy, not a label. I live in a Labor seat, who says I won’t vote Labor because I value my local member on a personal level, even though I am fiscally conservative.

    @Alice
    Alright, so I have gone from:

    The fact of the matter is, a BA is a perfect example of something that is a complete waste of time without conviction and a plan for employment/career direction post tertiary study.

    To

    There are plenty of opportunities for those who have conviction and a plan (and have talent) but for those who do a BA for the sake of getting a degree without direction or conviction, get ready to flip burgers

    To

    You need to put in a lot of effort to succeed and it is clear to see BA or BA/B Laws candidates who do well. This is because they are candidates who have conviction and a strategy for a career. This is precisely what I have said all along.

    To

    You need to put in a lot of effort to succeed and it is clear to see BA or BA/B Laws candidates who do well. This is because they are candidates who have conviction and a strategy for a career. This is precisely what I have said all along.

    Wow, I am on message. Consistent as a Federal Labor Parliamentarian.

  14. @Rationalist
    Ha ha Rationalist…when what you actually said despite your protestations ……was

    “I should offer myself for slaughter to the great gods of University art student bummery.”

    Indeed you should! 4 terms you gave Howard… any arts grad would never have sunk so low!

  15. Alice, time to move on for it seems it has a few big reds jumping in the top paddock.

  16. Well, to quote Joh:

    “If he’s a Labor man, he’s a socialist and a very dangerous man.”

    😛

  17. Rationalist, according to John Stuart Mill’s ‘Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives’.

  18. Rationalist, I cannot remember who the blogger was but ‘it’ was saying more or less the same things trying to denigrate JQ. I hope that is not you.

  19. Rationalist, whilst your thinking about eating humble pie you might also wish to apologise to Premier Nathan Rees & Barry O’Farrell.

  20. Alice,
    Freedom of choice is much, much more than Coles or Woolies. Where I am I can choose (within a fair walking distance) from the two major chains, one local chain (two options there) and 2 other minor players. I can also hop in my car and drive to farmers’ markets (three within about 15 minutes) or I could choose to go further and buy from anywhere in the metro area. I could also choose to go and buy a farm (I would have to sell my house – but it is a choice) and then live off the land.
    I can also choose to eat from my vegie garden.
    The same is true of many, if not most, of the people of Australia. The fact that most exercise that choice to go to Coles or Woolworths is not an indication that there is no freedom of choice – but it may be an indication that you disagree with the choices many people make.

  21. If there was so much choice Andy – why is Coles and Woolies two minutes away but the farmers market is 15 minutes drive away from you? Have you ever thought about that one?

  22. Freedom of choice is pretty meaningless when the choices are poor and or relatively expensive. I can’t imagine how anyone could think food (or alcohol) shopping in Brisbane represents value.

  23. Alice,
    Perhaps because I bought a house near two shopping centres? In any case, the local IGA is a 2 minute walk away, another one is as close as the Coles and a third, non-chain supermarket, is the same distance as the Woolies.
    Plenty of choice here and I use most of them – but probably not the Woolies as the parking is not the best.

  24. @Andrew Reynolds
    Andy – you want to have a much closer look at page 3 SMH today. 25 cents in every retail dollar spent in this country is going straight to Woolies and wesfarmers. This concentration is even greater with each of these groups having a higher share of the retail consumers wallet than Walmart in the US. From “food to liquor, financial sercices to electrical to hardware…the march of the nations super retailers appears unchecked.”

    Andy this is not the free choice you admire (its one thing to admire it Andy and I do, but not when the reality isnt free choice or its diminishing choice). What is happening here in retailing… is market concentration which you must realise… diminishes your concept of free choce.

  25. So – two big players have only 25% of the market? Concentration in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. The Federal Government has 100% of that market and I do not see you calling for another to provide competition.
    By using the car I can, like almost every other Australian, get to another supplier. That is free choice. If I exercise it to get to Coles or Woolies, then it is my problem.
    Really, though, perhaps you should be looking at the reasons for it. Most of it comes down to planning laws, where local and State governments restrict the number of shopping centres. Again – like in many, many other areas if you deregulate the problem (if there is one) will solve itself. You put too little trust in the individual, Alice and trust too much in the State.

  26. MoSH,
    Reviewing the thread it seems that it is only you that has offered any insults, variously calling Rationalist a “fruitcake”, an “ignoramous” and implied he was “stupid”. That is, IMHO, a lot more rude than any implication that those who do an arts degree without any real idea of where to go from there are “wasting their time”.

  27. MoSH,
    I am not agreeing or disagreeing. I was just pointing out that it was you that was being offensive and (IMHO) breaching PrQ’s comment policy – not that it is for me to make any calls on that.

  28. @Andrew Reynolds
    No Andy – you got it wrong…the two biggest firms dont have twenty fice perecnt of the (a) market. They command twenty five percent of TOTAL $ value retail spending in ALL retail markets. Repeat ALL. Thats worse.
    Much worse.

  29. @Andrew Reynolds
    On de-regulating and getting rid of those State govt imbeciles who run planning…thats the exception – you de-regulate this ridiculous concentration of shopping in malls all you like Andy. People being herded like so many sheep to the Lowy family’s compunds (and compunds is what they are).
    Go right ahead and de-regulate the State Govt Andy – with my blessings. I think we just found a 3rd thing we agree on.

  30. Andrew – ….ohhh I didnt say 75%. I said 25% of EVERY RETAIL DOLLAR.

    Youre slippery Andy…its NOT OK that they DONT control 75%. They (two firms) control a mighty take at 25%.
    Andy this isnt the competition you would like to see…now is it???? I know you think there is a perfect world out there Andy if we just let everyone be free and de-regulated BUT it isnt going to work – dont you see that Woolies and Wesfarmers will pretty soon via market power generate the inefficiency and control (over us) the government gives up??

    Andy – I think de-regulation is good when it promotes competition but very very very bad when it destroys competition (as in an ACCC with no teeth).
    De-regulation is a double edged sword Andy and one that definitely shouldnt be swung about too freely and with no discrimination.

  31. What – you want to see them take more than 25%? 😉
    .
    The problem is that most regulation reduces competition – very little tends to increase it. The tight regulation through planning laws, for example, reduces competition in the supermarkets. Reduce that and you would find that there is more competition.

  32. But seriously I will give you those stupid laws in NSW that see strip shopping centres bulldozecd in the suburbs in favour unit developments and of redirection to Lowy style “malls” (Im over malls – its the lights the music and the stuff they spray in the air to hypnotise you).

  33. Andrew Reynolds, the very idea of thinking and saying that University art students get up to ‘bummery’ means he is a bit loose on top for many art students enrol in that faculty to pursue their dreams and/or as a stepping stone to other degree courses. Maybe he is a bit naive but I think the drongo it.

  34. another thing that might have increased competition is the price watch website! but Coles and Woolies said that the cost of gathering that information would be too high (that is, the information that’s already RIGHT THERE in their checkout computer systems). and the Krudd government, taking us for a bunch of complete idiots, tells us to swallow this lame excuse! I guess it’s more cost effective to pay 10 year olds to deliver color-printed junk mail to everybody’s letter boxes than to list their prices on a website.

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